“My time is now to become Cage Warriors lightweight champion.” – Jai Herbert


Jai Herbert with Cage Warriors lightweight belt
Jai Herbert with Cage Warriors lightweight belt Credit: Cage Warriors

Originally posted on 5th June 2019

It’s 6 am on a cold winters morning when the alarm clock goes off.  Jai Herbert wearily turns off the alarm, gets out of bed, and heads out to start another day in his physically demanding job as a scaffolder.  Jai has been a scaffolder for the past fourteen years, working all over Britain.

Come 5 pm, Jai is back at home managing a quick cup of coffee before heading out again, this time heading off to the gym for a good 3 to 4-hour session.  Not for a casual workout, but for a full-on training session in Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Jiu-jitsu or a cardio session – (depending on what day it is).  You see, Jai Herbert is also an elite professional athlete in mixed martial arts while working a full-time job.

The 31-year-old who lives in Wolverhampton has only been competing in mixed martial arts (MMA) for the past seven years.  Having won the amateur Combat Challenge British welterweight belt, and the BCMMA lightweight belt, Jai racked up an impressive record of 9-1 before deciding to go professional in March 2015.  “At the amateur level, I fought all bar one of my fights at welterweight” Jai explains.  “I never had to cut weight and didn’t see the point of putting my body through the strain at amateur level”.

Jai, who started training out of Wolfpack MMA in Wolverhampton and still does his strength and conditioning with John Ashley, has now made a move over to Renegade JiuJitsu in Birmingham under the tutelage of UFC athlete Tom Breese, to help improve the jiu-jitsu and wrestling aspect of his game. “It’s been a great move to Renegade Jiu-Jitsu. I get to roll and wrestle with Tom [Breese] a lot and with top athletes such as Leon Edwards (UFC) and Fabian Edwards (Bellator).  They have brought my game on leaps and bounds” said Jai.  “I also train at Firewalker Martial Arts where I do my striking such as Kickboxing and Boxing with Joeby Clayton.”

Currently on a four-fight winning streak, with his only loss coming in the way of a KO via Rhys McKee when he fought for the BAMMA lightweight title, Jai is no stranger to hard fights.  His first fight since signing with European promotion Cage Warriors was against hard-hitting Erdi Karatas, where he won via Unanimous Decision, and it is the only fight of his career thus far to have gone the distance. His next opponent was Joe Mccolgan which Jai dispatched of in two minutes of the first round. Then, on March 2nd, 2019, Jai had the task of facing veteran MMA athlete Steve O’Keefe, who resume consists of Artem Lobov, Conor McGregor and Chris Goldfish to name a few who had gone on to compete in the UFC.  Again, Jai dispatched of O’Keefe within 4 minutes of the first round.

It was at this point Jai knew he would be next in turn to compete for the vacant lightweight title. “I knew I was going to get the shot to be honest” recalls Jai “It was the day after I fought with Steve O’Keefe I got a text to say Graham wants you to fight Jack Grant for the title and I was like yeah, sweet, when?” said Jai. “I knew it was going to happen as Jack was next in line to compete for the title, so I knew it would be him and me.”

With the date set as June 29th, 2019 at Eventim Apollo, London, Cage Warriors will be hosting their 106th event billed as “Night of Champions”, where Jai will take on Jack for the vacant lightweight title.  “Jack is a top fighter, he is outstanding on the ground, and he has good stand up too along with being powerful. However, I feel I am the best striker in the division.  It is going to be a great fight; I’m going to get my hand raised, and it won’t be going five rounds.”

With Cage Warrior’s emphasis on fighter safety, all professional athletes must be SAFE medical checked, which includes costly MRI scans along with blood work. To help with these costs, Jai’s dad has helped with some of the medical expenses. However, Jai is still looking for additional sponsors to help him achieve the goal of being able to concentrate on being a full-time professional athlete, rather than only dedicating part of himself to his craft when he can train and wanting to reach his full potential.  Jai would ideally like to give up work and train full time.  If you feel you can help this young, gifted athlete out, please get in touch with him on either of the platforms mentioned below.

Jai would like to thank his current sponsor Animosity Fight Gear UK, all his training partners and his girlfriend Jaye Haynes, who helps him prepare for his fights.

You can reach Jai on the following social media platforms:

Facebook: Jai Herbert MMA

Instagram: @jai_herbert_mma

“Cage Warriors is the show where I’m going to make my comeback and win the welterweight title.” – Tom ‘Kong’ Watson


Originally posted on 8th April 2019

Tom 'Kong' Watson
Tom ‘Kong’ Watson

Born and raised in Southampton, England, Tom Watson first started in combat sports at the age of 16, when he took up boxing.  A three-time ABA Southern Counties Champion and being awarded ‘Amateur boxing standout of the year’ in 2006 was his introduction into mixed martial arts.

Watson made his professional mixed martial arts debut on 19th February 2006 for a local show at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort in London. On ‘ZT Fight Night 1’ where he won via Guillotine choke in 71 seconds, he returned on the show’s second instalment on June 25th the same year where he won via decision.

In 2007, Watson competed in five fights for UK promotion Cage Rage gaining a record of two wins and three losses.  From 2008 – 2012 Watson fought a further twelve times for promotions Cage Rage, AFC, UCMMA (formerly Cage Rage), MFC and BAMMA.  With his sole loss to Jesse Taylor at MFC 26, Watson picked up the inaugural UCMMA middleweight title along with the BAMMA middleweight title when he fought Jack Marshman at BAMMA 9.

With news that Watson has signed to elite European promotion Cage Warriors and will be facing Aaron ‘King’ Khalid at Cage Warriors 104 on April 27th, 2019 in Cardiff, it was only fitting that I should re-introduce ‘Kong’ to the world.

You’d be forgiven if you are not familiar with Tom ‘Kong’ Watson as of late, with his last competitive fight being on August 8th, 2015 for the UFC.  Spending three years with the world’s number one promotion in the UFC, Watson had two wins and five losses (with those losses coming by way of decisions) for the UFC taking his overall record to 17-9.

Watson was not done with competing and was still actively seeking opportunities to fight in the UFC.  Having no success, Watson was released by the UFC and continued to explore roles outside of the UFC, doing some commentary jobs here and there.  It was at this point that promotion BAMMA contacted Watson regarding doing some presenting and commentary jobs for them. They also wanted Watson (who had been with BAMMA since their first event up until he signed to the UFC) to compete again for them. This news was music to Watson’s ears as he had not hung up his gloves and retired as many people thought due to his 3-year absence from the sport.

Unfortunately, due to issues out of Watson’s control, BAMMA was no longer a viable option as a promotion to make his long-awaited come back on. Instead, elite European promotion Cage Warriors signed Watson in the welterweight division (Watson previously competed in the middleweight division) in January of 2019.

Watson trains predominately at his state of the art gym called ‘Analysis’ which is located right next to him in Southampton, and with the occasional odd trip back to California to train. Watson is already preparing hard for his upcoming bout for his Cage Warriors debut.

Deciding to cut down to welterweight was an easy decision for Watson. He stated that “quite a few people had told me that I should have been a welterweight when I competed in the UFC as I never really cut any weight.  When I look back on my career I do wonder if 170lb was the weight, I should have been competing at, so this is an attempt to test out that theory.”

Not content with winning a UCMMA (formally known as Cage Rage) and BAMMA title, Watson has made it very clear that the aim is to win the Cage Warriors welterweight title stating “I’m not coming here to have a bit of fun or have a couple of fights.  I’m coming here to pick up another title to add to the two other titles I have held.  I don’t know if there is anybody that has all of those titles, so that is my goal.”

With his first love being boxing Watson is in the middle of applying of getting his trainers license as he has a few guys who are looking to make their pro boxing debut so he can be in their corner.

/With the legalisation of Bare Knuckle Boxing, Watson has a couple of guys that he trains. Watson stated “it is not something that interests me, I do like the idea of fighting without gloves more than with gloves, I think gloves are probably less safe, and bare-knuckle is safer. It’s a big misconception that people think Bare Knuckle Boxing is more dangerous.  I’d say it is a lot safer as you can’t do much damage as you break your hands more and you don’t have this protection and mould on your fist to keep punching the shots away.  I will say though on bare-knuckle when they wear the wraps; I think it’s like wearing gloves and its worse, so to me, bare-knuckle boxing should be basically without wraps or anything.”

Going back to his time with the UFC, Watson stated “ I competed against the best in the world, and I have never got finished by any of them, only losing by decisions. Quite a few were controversial decisions at best for me.  Fighting is fighting and if you are losing a decision sport contest– well I’ve said it before, in the UFC I don’t really see that as losing, just the system and the setup. For instance, if we changed the UFC fight to a no time limit would of I lost any of those fights? I doubt it.  It is what it is, that’s the rules you play by.  Strategy wise I probably didn’t fight too smart. If you look at the earnings of the people in the UFC, I’m still relatively high up there, and I didn’t win many fights, so, on that basis, well it was smart – possibly.”

For those of you that have followed Watson’s career from the beginning, you will recall Watson enters the cage wearing a gorilla mask, hence why he has the nickname ‘Kong’. As Watson made his last appearance for the UFC in 2015, a new British fighter in the name of Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till was making his debut for the promotion. “I’m not bothered by Darren Till” Watson states, “I believe Dan Hardy gave him the nickname ‘Gorilla’, it is what it is. I think everyone knows ‘Kong’ more than Darren Till’s ‘The Gorilla’.

“Darren Till is a great fighter, but I don’t think he is synonymous with a Gorilla.”

“Cage Warriors is the show where I’m going to make my comeback and win the welterweight title.”

With his debut for his Cage Warriors bout being dubbed ‘King’ vs ‘Kong’, there will only one way to find out if this is the start of a resurgence for Tom ‘Kong’ Watson by tuning into Cage Warriors 104 on April 27th live on UFC Fight Pass.

Cage Warriors Wales Academy – Full Results


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Cage Warriors Wales Academy came from Ebbw Vale leisure centre in Wales last night, headlined by Mason Jones and Craig Edwards.  Also on the line were three amateur title belts.

PRO MMA

Mason Jones defeated Craig Edwards via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 3

AMATEUR MMA TITLE BOUTS

CAGE WARRIORS ACADEMY WALES AMATEUR MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE
Christian Duncan defeated Greg Cuthbert via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 2

Christian Duncan is the NEW CWAW Amateur Middleweight Champion

CAGE WARRIORS ACADEMY WALES AMATEUR WELTERWEIGHT TITLE
Josh Hudson vs. Oban Elliott majority draw. Oban Elliot wins via TKO in extra round

Oban Elliott is the NEW CWAW Amateur Welterweight Champion

CAGE WARRIORS ACADEMY WALES AMATEUR LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE
Jordan Peake defeated Cameron Clarke via unanimous decision

Jordan Peake is the NEW CWAW Amateur Lightweight Champion

AMATEUR MMA BOUTS
Muhammed Shazlee defeated Keiron Bennett via submission (armbar) Round 1

Ben Ellis defeated Sami Hashim via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1

Jahmel Westcarr defeated Alex Ianculescu via unanimous decision

James Price defeated Liam Casey via submission (armbar) Round 3

Ashley Amos defeated Krzysztof Gagala via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1

Aaron Peterson defeated Toby Warner via KO (punch) Round 3

Rob Bennett defeated Franco Tenaglia via submission (arm triangle) Round 2

Shaun Powell defeated Sean Scrivens via split decision

Chris Sterling defeated Nathan Gregory via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1

Shea Evans defeated Owain Davies  via submission (triangle choke) Round 3

Owain Williams defeated Rafael Neuberg via TKO (Punch) Round 1

Glenn Williams defeated Henrijs Burka via unanimous decision

Kenzie Jones defeated Josh Hutchinson via TKO Round 2

Elis Westacott defeated Kacper Kzdunczyk via unanimous decision

 

“When I win Cage Warriors gold the UFC have got to see that my age is not a factor” – Scott Clist


This interview was conducted back in June 2016 and featured in the July/August issue of MMA Uncaged Magazine.

“Age is just a number. I will be in the UFC by the end of the year”

London, 2002 and the UFC held its first event outside of the United States for UFC 38. ‘Brawl at the Hall’ was held inside the iconic Royal Albert Hall.  Headlined by UFC Hall of Fame veteran Matt Hughes and Carlos Newton. Also on the main card was a 36-year-old Ian Freeman who faced and beat a 23-year-old Frank Mir by TKO, proving that ‘age is just a number’.

Fast forward to April 15, 2016, when European Promotion Cage Warriors returned home to London and held its 75th event.  Making his debut for the promotion was 38-year-old Scott ‘The Priest’ Clist facing 25-year-old Brad ‘The Crazy Kid’ Wheeler. Clist was the heavy underdog and after weathering an early storm where it looked like Wheeler was going to submit him in the opening minutes, Clist gained control of the fight (with 30 seconds to go) landing a head kick followed by a right hook which knocked Wheeler to the canvas against the cage and began to unleash a barrage of punches (16) only for the klaxon to sound the end of the round.

It was in-between rounds that Wheeler’s corner retired him from the fight as he had taken too much damage, declaring Clist victorious by way of TKO at the end of round one. Proving yet again ‘age is just a number’.

“Age is just a number. I will be in the UFC by the end of the year”

Born and raised in Bridgwater, Somerset but now residing in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, the nightclub manager first started out in the world of Martial Arts at the tender age of 5.

My dad would get me and my brother to throw punches and box train with him. He would show us how to twist our hips with the punches and lead with a jab” Clist recalls of his fond childhood memories. After briefly flirting with Karate, Clist settled on Kickboxing where he would start his Martial Arts career and held British titles in kickboxing and full contact Tae kwon do.

Clist was first introduced to Mixed Martial Arts by a colleague whilst he was working in Swindon as a barman at the age of 19. A doorman he knew lent him 3 video’s called “UFC” and after watching them decided he wanted to give MMA a try.

After watching the ‘UFC’ video’s I attended my first MMA class which was also run by the same doorman who gave me the video’s.  ‘Oz’, Michael Osbourne at ‘SVT’ Swindon Vale Tudo.  Although I really enjoyed the class due to my working schedule at the time I couldn’t commit to it.”

After spending some time training in different Martial Arts and balancing a full time job, Clist found classes run by Tony Childs who was teaching San Shou, JKD, Combat Submission Wrestling and Escrima to add to his Kickboxing and Tae kwon do background.

Finally, after experiencing success in teaching kickboxing, Clist decided it was time to open up his own gym.  In March 2008 The Revolution Gym in Trowbridge was born, all the while still competing as an amateur mixed martial artist himself from 2006 – 2009. In 2010 Clist turned pro finishing his first five opponents within two rounds. Although picking up his first pro MMA loss in 2013 to Dan Rushworth, that fight earned him fight of the night honours. Winning his next fight Clist then entered an 8-man tournament.

“I had no emotion in the lead up to the event and was spending a large amount of time teaching instead of focusing on my own training. Ali Maclean tapped my out with a north and south choke 4:34 seconds into the first round. It was the only time I had been stopped as a pro fighter. I was gutted.”

“It was after this fight that I realised I needed to focus on my own training so I shut down my gym and moved over to Dragonslair MMA in Melksham home to UFC athlete Bradley Scott.”

Scott 1
Photo Credit Adrenalin Fight Night

Now [10-2] as a pro and with the help and guidance of Head Coach Stu Pike at Dragonslair MMA, Clist is currently on a three fight win streak after winning his last fight against Brad Wheeler at Cage Warriors 75 where he was very much the underdog on that card.

“I kept the fight standing for a while and me and Brad traded some shots until I threw a kick and he caught it. Brad got the takedown but I managed to get back to my feet only for brad to get a deep double leg and take me down again, his ju jitsu is sleek and he managed to get my back and sink in the body lock quickly. I went into autopilot and 2 on 1 defence. I had done this so many times in the gym that I was never really worried about getting tapped, I just had to get the lock off. I tried putting pressure on Brad’s ankle but that didn’t work so I had to defend and try to turn into him but like I said Brad’s BJJ is something else and trying to get someone as good as he is off you is not the easiest thing.

“After a few mins spent on the defensive I felt the lock loosen so I stepped over his leg to avoid him getting it locked back in, I turned quickly and we got back to our feet.

“I threw a good uppercut to the body and Brad backed off. I saw my opportunity and threw the head kick followed by the right hook.

I saw brad fall and started throwing down some serious ground and pound. I could hear his corner shouting “10 seconds, hold on Brad”. I kept throwing punches thinking the ref has got to stop it but he didn’t and the buzzer sounded for the end of the round. Brad’s corner retired him in between rounds which gave me a TKO win coming at 5 mins of round one.”

The fight Clist had with Wheeler was originally scheduled for a lightweight bout but got changed to a catch weight bout a few days before. So will we be seeing Clist again in the lightweight division?

“I would like to fight against top 10 opponents. A fight with Chris Fishgold would be interesting and a fight against Andre Ward would make for a great fight. I aim to Keep growing as a fighter and I am in the right place and working with the right people to do that and keep winning. I want to be a successful UFC fighter.  I don’t just want to make it into the UFC, I will make it into the UFC and get some good wins.”

With a nickname ‘The Priest’ I did however wonder how it came about.

“My first sponsor gave me that name.   I told him he could pick my ring name.  He had just watched The Davinci Code on dvd and decided I looked like the psycho killer from the film (blonde hair, white skin) so he said it was great to call me The Priest. I kept it because it caught on after my first fight.”

As with any interview, I ask if Scott has anyone he would like to thank.

“Firstly, my wife and daughter as they put up with me missing time spent with them, being tired from training and weight cutting etc. I would like to thank my coaches Stu Pike, Bradley Scott for making me a better fighter. My boxing and s+c coaches Mark Kent and Smudger at contender gym. My teammates who let me learn and let me be part of their learning. Stu Mourant for making a massive difference and opening doors. My sponsors for helping me with fuelling my body, BadBoy Supplements (kalv Singh) and financially Nacho Cheese, Richard Henley (Heating and plumbing), Darryl Moore (Carpentry) and a massive thank you goes out to all my friends and supporters”.

You can follow Scott Clist’s journey on the following media sites.

https://www.facebook.com/scott.clist

Twitter

@scottThePriestclist

By Emma Bramford

Cage Warriors Academy Wales – Full Results


cage warriors academy wales

Cage Warriors Academy Wales came live from The Newport Centre, Wales tonight March 4th.

Boasting a fight card with 18 fights, including twelve amateur undercard fights and six professional main card fights, it was the fans who were in for a treat this evening.

 

Main Card Professional Results

Aaron Khalid defeated Phil Wells via Submission (Guillotine Choke) :56 round 2
Jack Shore defeated Alexandros Gerolimatos via Submission (Rear-naked Choke) 2:03 round 1
Richard Williams defeated Gracjan Bak via KO :59 round 1
Damo Weeden defeated Joe Orrey via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) :39 round 1
Josh Ellis defeated Daniel Hodor via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 4:05 round 2
Ethan Charlesworth defeated Nathan Ford via Submission (Triangle) 1:53 round 1

Undercard – Amateur MMA

Josh Hudson defeated Jack Tucker via Unanimous Decision
Michael Corston defeated Christopher Radcliffe via Majority Decision
Pedro Cardosa defeated Tom Karpinski via Unanimous Decision
Rob Bennett defeated Marcus Stevens via Split Decision
James Amos defeated Sami Hashim via Unanimous Decision
Christian Duncan defeated James McClean via TKO 1:25 round 1
Chris Smith defeated Keiron Bennet via Submission (Rear-naked Choke)  2:50  round 2
Oban Elliot defeated Callum Hanman via KO (head kick) :46 round 1

Ben Ellis defeated Franco Tenaglia via TKO 2:05 round 3
Jamie Boyle defeated Ragine White via Submission (head and arm choke) :58  round 2
Alun Yhnell defeated Karl Redding via KO :59 of round 1
Joel Collins defeated Chris Mardon via Split Decision

Cage Warriors 81 – Full Results


Cage Warriors 81 came live from the 3Arena in Dublin tonight, March 4th for the vacant Light-Heavyweight title between Karl Moore who faced Josh Clark.

Also on the card saw the return of Catherine Costigan who faced hard-hitting Wendy McKenna in an Atomweight bout.

 

Full Results – Main Card

 

[Light-Heavyweight Title]  Karl Moore* defeated Josh Clark via Unanimous Decision (49-45,50-44,50-42)

*NEW LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION

[Atomweight] Catherine Costigan defeated Wendy McKenna via Split Decision (29-28,29-28,28-29)

[Lightweight]  Arnold Quero defeated Joel McColgan via SD (30-27,29-28,29-28)

[Welterweight] Hakon Foss defeated Martyn Harris via RNC 3:38 round 1

[Bantamweight] Blain O’Driscoll defeated Darren O’Gorman via KO 3:22 round 2

Prelim Card

[Catchweight] Eric Nolan defeated Marcin Zemballa via unanimous decision

[Welterweight] Maciej Gierszewski defeated Romain Bidet via TKO 4:13  round 1

Amateur Prelim Card

[Welterweight] Ivan Blanita defeated Gary Coffey via unanimous decision

[Featherweight] Pawel Politylo defeated Alex Yankov via unanimous decision

[Welterweight] Mark Gallivan defeated Makinde Adeyemi via Submission (Triangle Choke)  1:46  round 2

[Lightweight] Stephen Treacy defeated Francis Treacy via TKO 2:50 round 1

[Bantamweight] Austin Lynch defeated Alex Brophy via TKO 1:04 round 1

[Featherweight] Mateusz Kopyto defeated Colm O’Regan via unanimous decision

[Lightweight] Adam Darby defeated Leon Hill via unanimous decision

[Catchweight] Barry Hanna v Matthew Whyte

Conor McGregor: The story so far…


On Saturday, August 20, UFC® featherweight champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor will headline what is set to be one of the biggest events in UFC history, as he meets Nate Diaz in a five-round welterweight rematch inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ahead of UFC 202®: DIAZ vs. McGREGOR 2, we look back at McGregor’s career so far and re-live some of the Irishman’s most memorable moments.

Conor Mcgregor Info Graphic

The early days

McGregor began boxing at the age of 12. Training at Crumlin Boxing Gym, he won a variety of amateur boxing titles. At the age of 18, McGregor’s long-time friend, Tom Egan – the first Irish athlete ever to sign with UFC – brought McGregor along to a mixed martial arts class at Straight Blast Gym (SBG) in Dublin. It didn’t take long for SBG owner and head coach, John Kavanagh, to recognise the stopping power that the young Dubliner boasted.

The amateur scene

February 2007 saw McGregor contest his first amateur MMA bout. Finishing his opponent Ciaran Campbell with a striking showcase in the first round, McGregor’s spirited celebration post-fight pointed to the showman he would later go on to become.

Notorious rising 

McGregor quickly earned a name for himself as a knockout artist on the professional scene. In March 2008 he made his professional MMA debut in the Cage of Truth organisation. He faced fellow Irishman Gary Morris, who succumbed to strikes from McGregor in the second round.

 

The Point Depot

McGregor’s second pro bout in May 2008 lasted just one round, as he defeated Mo Taylor via TKO at Cage Rage: Contenders – Ireland vs. Belgium. This would be McGregor’s first outing in The Point Depot (now the 3Arena) in Dublin, which would go on to host all three of UFC’s trips to the Irish capital.

A stumbling block

In June 2008, a loss to Lithuanian Artemj Sitenkov proved to be a serious stumbling block for McGregor. Although he later bounced back with a win over Stephen Bailey six months later, the young Dubliner drifted away from the sport. In response, McGregor’s mother, Mags, took it upon herself to call John Kavanagh to seek his help in encouraging her son to return to the gym. Kavanagh later visited McGregor in his Lucan home and encouraged him to commit to his fighting career.

A new found dedication

In November 2010, and with another win under his belt, McGregor moved up to lightweight to take on fellow surging Irish prospect Joe Duffy. When McGregor was submitted in little more than 30 seconds, many feared that the defeat would trigger another exodus from the sport. But, on the Monday after the loss, McGregor was back in the gym with a new found dedication to training.

A winning streak

The loss to Duffy would trigger a phenomenal 15-fight win streak for McGregor. After defeating Hugh Brady in one round in February 2011, McGregor’s outings against Mike Wood and Paddy Doherty lasted a combined 20 seconds, as he scored two devastatingly fast knockouts.

 

A warrior in the cage

In June 2011, a second round win over Artur Sowinski saw McGregor signed by the European promotion Cage Warriors, a key moment in the young fighter’s career. He quickly proved to be a stellar addition to the roster.

Falling to featherweight

After a lightweight bout with Aaron Jahnsen was stopped inside one round in September 2011, McGregor announced his intentions for the featherweight division. McGregor elbowed his way to another first-round victory over Steven O’Keefe, which positioned him perfectly for a title shot.

Tears and a title shot

Jiu-jitsu ace Dave Hill was McGregor’s opponent for the vacant Cage Warriors title bout in June 2012. The event took place in The Helix, a venue located inside Dublin City University Campus. The intensity that McGregor displayed at the event’s weigh-in had such an impact on his English opponent that fans claimed Hill began to cry after going nose to nose with ‘The Notorious’.

The lightweight title

McGregor’s popularity spread to new heights following his win over Hill. Cage Warriors wasted no time in booking a New Year’s Eve show, where ‘The Notorious’ was initially slated to defend his title against American Jim Alers. He instead went on to face Ivan Buchinger for the lightweight title on December 31st, 2012. A crisp left hook ended the show in the first round and sent McGregor’s star on the ascent.

The hype train

When UFC President Dana White visited Trinity College in Dublin to be presented with a gold medal for Honorary Patronage by the Philosophical Society in February 2013, he was inundated with requests from fans for him to sign a young fighter named Conor McGregor.

The world stage

It was revealed that McGregor would face The Ultimate Fighter alumnus Marcus Brimage in his UFC debut on April 6, 2013, in Stockholm, Sweden. A stunning left uppercut separated Brimage from his senses and, with that, a star was born. McGregor’s now infamous call for a bonus after the fight, “Hey Dana, 50 G’s baby!” – endeared him to the sport’s international fan base.

Sitting on the sidelines

In August 2013 McGregor suffered an injury to his knee midway through his bout with young featherweight Max Holloway. Holloway became the only man to last the distance with McGregor. Post-fight, a scan revealed that McGregor had suffered a torn ACL, which would mean eleven months before he could take to the Octagon once again.

A night to remember

UFC’s return to Dublin in July 2014 coincided with McGregor’s return to action, and his first main event slot. McGregor’s first-round KO of Brazil’s Diego Brandao finished a perfect 6-0 night for the Irish contingent, at an event which broke viewing records for UFC’s streaming platform, UFC FIGHT PASS.

The toughest of tests

Having been sidelined for almost a year, McGregor went on to face two of his toughest tests to date in Dustin Poirier and Dennis Siver. A first round TKO over Poirier in September 2014 was followed by a second round TKO win over Germany’s Siver in January 2015, as Boston turned green for McGregor’s second trip to the TD Garden. A sold-out crowd erupted with the win, and McGregor made a beeline for champion Jose Aldo, who sat Octagonside.

 

The World Tour

In March 2015, McGregor joined Aldo for UFC’s very first world press tour. The tour spanned eight cities in five countries, over the course of 12 days in order to promote UFC 189: Aldo vs. McGregor. But, just 12 days out from the event, Aldo was forced to withdraw from the fight citing a rib injury, and McGregor instead went on to defeat late replacement Chad Mendes to secure the interim UFC featherweight title.

Unification

On December 12th, 2015, McGregor ended the 10-year undefeated reign of champion Jose Aldo within just 13 seconds. UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor broke UFC gate and attendance records at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. McGregor, meanwhile, underlined his status as one of the biggest draws in the history of UFC.

155lbs

McGregor immediately announced his intention to move up to lightweight. But when an injury ruled out a scheduled bout with lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos in February 2016, a polarizing opponent stepped up to the mark.

A whole different ball game

In the absence of his usual relentless weight cut, McGregor was jovial and energized throughout the week leading up to UFC 196, as he prepared to meet Nate Diaz at welterweight. On March 5th, 2016, the pair faced off in one of the most highly anticipated match-ups in UFC history. Caught on the end of a jab-cross combination by Diaz, McGregor looked for the takedown and was pounced on by the jiu-jitsu black belt. A rear-naked choke from Diaz followed to bring McGregor’s 15-fight win streak to an end.

Losing the battle, winning the war?

On August 20, 2016, Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will meet once again, as McGregor vows to return to greatness and prove to the world that he is, indeed, the greatest of all time.

Watch UFC 202®: DIAZ vs. McGREGOR 2 live on BT Sport from 1am BST on the morning of Sunday, August 21st and catch the Early Prelims from 11:30pm on Saturday 20th, live on UFC FIGHT PASS.

UFC Press Release

 

 

 

Best of British MMA On UFC Fight Pass June 4th


 

Saturday, June 4 UFC FIGHT PASS® brings a host of British MMA talent to fans with two incredible events on one day.

ufc fight pass logo

Michael Bisping (29-7; fighting out of Manchester, England) challenges for the UFC® world middleweight title in LA, California, atUFC 199®: ROCKHOLD vs. BISPING 2 while Cage Warriors showcases some of the best upcoming talent in the UK at Cage Warriors 76 from Newport, Wales.

Undefeated Tom Breese (10-0; fighting out of Montreal, Canada) will headline the UFC FIGHT PASS prelims on Saturday June 4 against American Sean Strickland at UFC 199®: ROCKHOLD vs. BISPING 2. The up and coming Birmingham native previously competed for Cage Warriors before moving over to UFC in May 2015. Breese will be looking to show the level of skill honed in the UK as he makes his way up the welterweight rankings.

Closer to home in Newport,Wales headlining Cage Warriors 76 is Welshman Jack “The Hammer” Marshman (18-5), who is on a four fight win streak and will be looking to extend his streak on June 4. Marshman is ranked within the UK’s top 10 middleweights and one of the most dangerous middleweights with 11 knockouts in his professional career.

Also on the main card, Lew Long (12-3) returns to Cage Warriors with momentum on his side following five successive wins as he takes on UFC veteran Andreas Stahl. As one of the top UK ranked welterweights, Long will be establishing his lead in the division.

Jack Shore (1-0) is one of the youngest prospects on the mixed martial arts scene. Having one professional fight under his belt, the Welshman is the 2015 IMMAF Lightweight European Open champion and has 12 amateur wins making him unbeaten in his short career thus far.

UFC 199®: ROCKHOLD vs. BISPING 2 kicks off on UFC FIGHT PASS at 11:15 p.m. BST on Saturday June 4. Ahead of this monumental event, catch all the action from Cage Warriors 76 also LIVE on UFC FIGHT PASS from 9 p.m. BST.

UFC FIGHT PASS is available on personal computers, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV and Roku devices.

For more information or current fight news, visit ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.

 

 

 

 

MARIO SAEED THE ‘ARM COLLECTOR’ IS TAKING NAMES! HE’S BACK FROM INJURY AND RARING TO GO CWFC 67


Pre catch up with Mario Saeed – Interview was carried out on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 before his Cage Warriors Debut on April 12th 2014.

Mario Saeed (5-1) from Bristol and riding a four fight-winning streak will be making his long over-due debut for promotion Cage Warriors on Saturday April 12th at The LC, Swansea, Wales.

Coming back from a career threatening injury sustained back in October last year, whilst training for what was going to be his then debut fight for Cage Warriors in Jordan.  Mario sustained a Fractured Neck, since then Mario has been under strict instructions to take things easy, let time heal his injuries with the proper help and guidance.

Training, out of Trojan Free Fighters in Cheltenham, with the guidance of Head Coach and Mentor Paul Sutherland .  Managed by UI Management,  I managed to catch up with, a full of beans, Hyper active, fully motivated Mario Saeed for our scheduled interview – judging by the very good mood he is in, I have no idea on, how serious at all I can get him to answer every single question I have for him, but here is the final cut for you all to read.

Look out for the one motivational ‘quote’ that was put in nicely by mario ;)

 

EB. Hey, Mario thanks for your time. It has been awhile since I have spoken to you how, are you?

MS.  Hello Emma, I am doing great now thank you.

EB. The last time we spoke you were about to have your last fight for the promotion Ultimate Impact Cage fighting against Wayne Drake.  How did that go?

MS. It went very well thank you, it was a real hard fight but I got the win in the end.

EB.  Prior to that fight, it was then announced that on June 19th, you had been signed to fight for the promotion Cage Warriors, with your debut to be in Jordan on October 25th, but a serious training injury occurred just two weeks before. Can you talk me through what happened?

MS. Everything  was going great until 2 weeks before the fight, I suffered a fracture in my neck, this meant I had to take a break from training for quite a while!  Now I am back stronger than ever.

EB. Being a very positive and motivated person that you are, what kept you going through the ‘dark times’ you would have experienced on your road back to recovery?

MS. Everything happens for a reason. I believe in myself and this keeps me staying positive. I am looking forward to my next fight.

EB. Your teammate Mark Godbeer had also gone through a very similar experience to yourself; did you take advice from him on any part of the recovery process?

MS. We are all teammates. We help each other and sh*t happens. We all motivate each other. Teammates stick together no matter what.

EB. You also took to posting a few updates via a video blog on your Facebook of your recovery in the very early days.  Have you watched any of them back at all? Alternatively, are they too painful memory for you to watch?

MS.  I would not say they are too painful to watch, I have not watched them back.  I do not look back I always look forward.

EB. What was your rehab/recovery process like? Did you try to rush the process?

MS. Laughs!  I listened to the doctor’s advice and took plenty of time out and now I am good to go and ready to fight again.

EB. Once you were all cleared to leave the hospital and take it easy, I heard you were back at the gym sat watching your teammates train.  Can you tell me how you were feeling at this point?

MS.  A mixture of frustration and just glad that I was there, also I was happy to support the other lads, but I did want to be fighting myself; I had to be tied to the chair to stop me from moving!  (Laughs)

EB. Motivation, dedication and hard work have got you where you are now.  I mean it is not everyday someone fractures their neck and 6 months later they are back doing what they love.

MS.  I am very lucky to be coming back stronger than ever doing what I love; these things test you in life, and it is all about how bad you want it, how hard you are willing to work for it. I cannot wait to show the world what I am about.

EB. On April 12th, you have your long overdue debut for Cage Warriors in Swansea, what are you looking forward to the most.

MS. I am looking forward to every minute of it, Cage Warrior’s is a great show and I cannot wait to get back in the cage and get the big W.

mario hooded

EB. Do you know anything about your new opponent Sean ‘Sexy Curls’ Carter?

MS. I know that he comes from a great gym and I am friends with a few of his teammates. He is a good fighter but I am a great fighter, come fight night, he will find out.

EB. Now, that your Co- Main event does that, put any more pressure on you? (you’ve crept up the card and now you’re Co-Main Event)!

MS.  Co- Main, it makes no difference, as I have been main event before. It is just another fight to me.

EB. With a late change in opponent, (1 week before fight day) does that change anything in you as a fighter and the fight you have already prepared for? (original opponent was Rikki Fortuna 2-2-1)

MS. Not particularly as I train to fight and it does not matter who I fight. I will fight anyone who Cage Warriors choose to put in front of me, but remember my name WILL BE going the Cage Warriors GOLD!

EB. Being, the Champion at Ultimate Impact Cage fighting, is there any pressure to be the Champion at Cage Warriors or is that the Goal/DREAM?

MS. No, it is just a matter of time!

EB. Sean has had nine fights, and his only loss was for the lightweight title, if you win against Sean on April 12th do you see yourself in title contention?

MS. Hell yes I will be after that belt.

EB. This will be your first fight back since your training accident, some may say in at the deep end. What would you say?

MS.  I am a very good swimmer.

EB. What is it about the promotion Cage Warriors that keeps fighters on their roster?

MS. Cage Warriors are the best promotion in the UK and Europe. Cage Warriors, is viewed by millions around the world, the promotion speaks for itself.

EB. You are ‘known’ as ‘The Armbar Collector’ would you like to be ‘known’ for more than just that one awesome submission.

MS. I am an all-round fighter, but the armbar is my signature move! The best is yet to come. “Don’t fear the man who does 1000 techniques; fear the man who does 1 technique 1000 times”.

Mario sean

EB. You have crazy fans that I for one have witnessed. Can you tell me of a time when things have been just a little bit too crazy at one of your fights?

MS. When I fought and won the UIC title, my fans rushed to see me, to congratulate me in the cage, let us hope Cage Warriors have plenty of security, Laughs!

EB. Training to you is second nature, what keeps you going and motivated?

MS. My family and friends, the fact I love what I do and I get to do it every day.

EB.  Is there anyone you would like to thank?

MS. I would like to thank my coach who is my mentor, Paul Sutherland, my best mate Chris Astley and all my teammates at Trojan and finally my sponsors DiscountMMA, BRITISHF1GHTER, SynergiFitness, SCIMX.

Cage-Warriors

 

You can follow Mario Saeed on Twitter, who in my opinion is well worth the follow, if for just all the motivational quotes he tweets everyday on @MarioRudeboy7

You can watch Mario ‘Rudeboy’ Saeed take on Sean ‘Sexy Curls’ Carter at The LC, Swansea, Wales, Saturday April 12th for those of you who have purchased tickets, alternatively you can watch the Main Card via www.cagewarriors.tv which is FREE this weekend for UK viewers.  Main Card is at 9pm. Who will be showing 6 out of the 7 fights in total for FREE that night. Any more information go towww.cagewarriors.com

This event is now SOLD OUT so unless some of the fighters have any spare tickets left that will be the only way you will be able to see the whole event LIVE.

 

PHOTO CREDIT 1,2,3 – HUW FAIRCLOUGH

PHOTO CREDIT 3 CAGE WARRIORS

CAGE WARRIORS 68 WEIGH-IN RESULTS AND NEW RULINGS


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Cage Warriors 68 comes to The Echo Arena in Liverpool tomorrow night, for what promises to be a night full of action, but as with any professional mixed martial art event the official weigh-ins first had to take place.

Lightweight: Azi Thomas (154lbs) vs. Ellis Hampson (157.6lbs)* Hampson has two hours to cut 1.6lbs**

Bantamweight: Ant Phillips (141.5lbs) vs Adam Ventre (137.5lbs) * Phillips need to cut 5.5lbs & Ventre 1.5lbs

Final weight for Ant Phillips 139lbs & Final weight for Adam Ventre 135.7lbs

Welterweight: Dez Parker (169lbs) vs. Charlie Watts (171lbs) 

Bantamweight: Conrad Hayes  (135lbs) vs. Patrick Pimblett*  (141.7lbs) *** Paddy Pimblett has two hours to cut 5.7 lbs 

Bantamweight: John Cullen  (140.8lbs) vs. Dean Garnett (136.7lbs) * Cullen needs to cut 4.8lb & Garnett 0.7lb they have two hours to cut the remaining lbs 

Middleweight: Leeroy Barnes (183.9lbs) vs. Che Mills (185.6lbs) 

Middleweight: Matt Hallam (184.7lbs) vs. Steve Dinsdale (183.5lbs) 

Welterweight: Matt Inman (170.7lbs) vs. Mauro Chimento (170.3lbs) 

Bantamweight: Marcelo Costa* (140.3lbs) vs Ronnie Mann.  (135.2lbs) ***Marcelo Costa has two hours to cut 4.3lbs 

Welterweight: Jimmy Wallhead (169.3lbs) vs. Danny Roberts  (170.4lbs) 

**Ellis Hampson has elected not to cut any more weight, forfeiting 25% of his purse to his opponent, Azi Thomas 

***Paddy Pimblett has elected not to cut any more weight, forfeiting 40% of his purse to his opponent, Conrad Hayes

Final weight for Paddy Pimblett 141.7lbs

***Marcelo Costa has elected not to cut any more weight, forfeiting 40% of his purse to his opponent, Ronnie Mann 

Final weight for Marcelo Costa 140.3lbs

The bantamweight bout between John Cullen and Dean Garnett will go ahead at an agreed catchweight of 138lbs 

Final weight for John Cullen 138.4lbs

* Did not make weight on first attempt

** Forefited 25% of purse to opponent

*** Fortited 40% of purse to opponent

Seven fighters missed weight at first attempt which raised ‘eyebrows’ amongst the promotions own top brass, resulting in Director of Media and Operations, Paul Dollery to send out several social media tweets amongst them were these two:

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As a highly run, professional organisation it is expected that the fighters make their contractual weight agreement and to be professionals, representing, not only themselves, their club but the Cage Warriors FC brand.

Making a stance on fighters who are not making weight and opting for a purse pay-out option, CEO of Cage Warriors FC, Graham Boylan sent these two tweets out:

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Let’s hope this gets all the fighters attention to comply.